MU Ballpark – Marian University Knights
Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.29
MU Ballpark 3200 Cold Spring Rd. Indianapolis, IN 46250
Year Opened: Unknown Capacity: 500
Small Town College Baseball in Indianapolis
Marian University was founded as a teacher training school in 1851 by the Sisters of St. Francis. It would become a four-year university after it merged with Immaculate Conception Junior College to form Marian College. On July 1, 2009, Marian College became Marian University.
The baseball program began in 1955 and joined the Mid-Central Conference of the Crossroads League for the 1987-88 academic year. The ball club captured 8 regular-season titles, 2 tournament titles and has made 10 NAIA regional appearances and 3 National Tournament appearances.
Marian University Ballpark has seen improvements in the past decade with a new scoreboard in 2008, safety nets and additional fencing in 2014, and most new windscreens showing the latest information on university athletics. It has been described as one of the more traditional ballparks in all of collegiate baseball. Let’s find out more about the home of the Marian Knights.
Food & Beverage 0
There appears to be a concession stand at the bottom of the press box, but it was closed during our visit, despite the temperature being 70 degrees on a Saturday afternoon. It is unknown if this is closed permanently, especially considering the country is still coming off a worldwide pandemic. Most of the fans in attendance brought their food from home or a nearby fast-food restaurant-a common sight for ballparks of this size and caliber.
It was a beautiful 70-degree day in early March and the first ideal day for baseball in Indiana since September. There was a nice crowd was on hand for the doubleheader that included: fans in the grandstand, folks down both foul lines, and a few students behind the left-field fence. The grandstands were notable as being constructed out of wood instead of the usual aluminum style. The home side is more extensive than the visiting side on the first baseline.
The ballpark features lighting, a Daktronics scoreboard behind left field, a two-story press area, and batting cages that feature end zone turf from the football field. The view behind the outfield walls is of the multiple buildings on campus that give it a cozy, little field to the venue. A PA announcer does a great job of player announcements throughout the 9-innings.
As with many ballparks of this caliber, the players in the dugout provided a steady flow of ambiance from chatter, clapping, and good old-fashion ribbing. The two dugouts are lined up against the fence, hoping for either a big hit or an out-depending on the inning. There are also plenty of fans in the stands that provide a lot of chatter, usually from a family member showing support.
Marian University is 6 miles north of downtown along the White River. The area near the school features a collection of retail chains and local establishments, but your best bet would be to head downtown or Speedway, a 4-mile drive.
Speedway is home to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the downtown area has improved over the past few years. Besides being home to the Indy 500, fans can enjoy the IMS Hall of Fame and Museum throughout the year.
A few spots of interest include the 1911 Grill that overlooks two indoor kart tracks offering American pub food. Bourbon and Barbecue serve smoked Memphis-style brisket and pork and features an impressive array of bourbon. Big Woods and Daredevil Brewing are great spots for local-craft beer and cuisine.
Downtown Indy offers many spots, but I would recommend Mass Ave. or Fountain Square for a collection of local restaurants, bars, breweries, and the Bottleworks District that offers The Garage, an upscale and adult-friendly food court with regional and world cuisine and drinks. The former Coca-Cola bottling plant also houses a bowling alley, hotel, and movie theater.
The majority of fans at the game were friends and family from both clubs. It was a beautiful day to be outside, and many took advantage of the record-setting temperature for early March. However, when the temperature dropped a few days later, the number of fans presumably diminished.
The ballpark is on campus but has a very unorthodox setup. The parking lot is located on the right side of the field, separated by a small road that is filled with fans before the game and after. This area leads to the grandstands, but parts of the road are uneven, providing for some difficulties for people with walking disabilities.
Return on Investment 3
All games are free of charge, and one cannot complain about that. The wooden bleachers provide a nice spot to watch the game, or one can set up a seat and enjoy the view from the perimeter of the diamond. It would be wise to bring food to the game and pick a date against a local university: Huntington University, Taylor University, or Indiana Wesleyan. Fans travel well in this league and provide the best experience to the game.
The wooden bleachers were different and added, as one fan described as, a little character to the venue. The campus is pretty and worth a walk around if you have the time - it also adds a nice backdrop.
MU Ballpark proves that there is always a ballpark nearby. When the weather is ideal, there is no reason why someone would not want to enjoy nine-inning baseball. The tickets are free, the baseball is fine, and you will probably enjoy yourself having a good talk with your fellow fans. However, don’t come to the game hungry – bring some food.